Want to participate in National Poetry Month but you just aren’t a fan of poetry? Why not try a novel in verse instead! This week’s staff pick One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies by Sonya Sones is a great choice.
“It is true that the mother dies, but this hilarious and painfully real novel in verse and letters is anything but hideous. Ruby Milliken knows everything that she needs to know about her father, Whip Logan, whom she has not seen since she was a baby. He is a world-class actor, and more important, a world-class jerk who left her and her mother and never wrote once. When her mother dies, however, Ruby is sent from her home in Massachusetts to Los Angeles to live with him. She resolves not to like him, a decision that is steadily worn down by a mutual love of classic cars and some first-rate mediation by Max, Whip’s personal assistant. As the school year progresses, Ruby finds a home in Los Angeles and makes some important discoveries about Whip’s absence from her life Whip Logan might be in the movies, but Sones’s sparse, carefully chosen prose is the star here, conveying Ruby’s conflicts of home, friendship, and family in a sympathetic, thoroughly believable manner. Ruby’s grieving for her mother is heartbreaking, but also humorous and never overwrought. Without being preachy, Sones addresses stereotyping, variations of friendship, betrayal by loved ones, and parent-child relationships. Readers will cry as easily as they laugh at Ruby’s frank observations of life in, as she calls it, Hellywood, even if they do not have teachers named Feather who make them keep a dream journal.” -Carlisle K. Webber, Voya Reviews
Looking for more novels in verse? Check out the current display in our Teen Room!